We started going to Lisbon on a regular basis several years ago. There was just something so appealing about the place with its trams ,narrow streets in the historical part , wide avenues in the newer parts and the food. Wherever we went we never seemed to have a bad meal.
Over time as we began to know more about the city we developed favourite ‘go to’ places when we were stuck as to where to eat and Ribadoura became one of our comfort places. For me the definition of a good place is not simply Michelin stars or Fine Dining. Some of the best meals I have had have been on the roadside literally. I recall being in Lebanon driving from Beirut to Baalbek and stopping on the way at a tiny bakery and having the most fragrant delicious Maneesh Zaatar with tomato salad a drizzle of oil and lemon and the freshest tastiest pomegranate juice ever. It was so so good that I remember the taste and memory. I think the photo says it all.
To me a good restaurant is not simply about the food although that is paramount. Fresh and local is always a plus but its also about the people the service the attitude and ambience. I want the experience to be memorable.
The first time we went to Ribadoura was about 4 pm and it was rather empty. My heart sank as I got ready for what I thought would be a disappointing meal. The place is right on the corner if an intersection on the famous Avenue Liberdade with lobster tanks at the window. Its bright not particularly big and when busy seems chaotic.
This seafood restaurant is highly popular with long queues at dinner time but unlike Ramiro it does take reservations but we never book and as its always last minute but I think the wait is part of the fun.
That first time we went we just asked the waiter what he recommended and we had clams that were superb and lobster with salad. The salads in Portugal are very tasty and I think its because of the climate and the attitude or culture were people tend to shop daily for what they need. The tomatoes here taste like tomatoes. The onions have a taste that is both sharp and sweet rather than watery.
When we there recently, we actually went twice on the same day! I had oysters which were yum and Razor clams and prawns in garlic. This is basic simple food cooked to perfection. I love the fact that I can rip into the bread dip it in the sauce and just be very relaxed . Try also their crab which is part of the starter menu. On toast its really good. Portion here are just right but we often make the mistake of over ordering and we are learning to order dish by dish as we go along. By the way always order the chips. They are amazing.